Le Drugstore — Paris, France
Stumble into Le Drugstore after a few Martinis and you’ll wonder if, when you walked through its doors, you didn’t also step back to the early 1960s, so period-perfect is the interior.
A Parisian staple since 1958, the sprawling Drugstore Publicis sits at the Place de l’Étoile end of the Champs-Élysées and was the brainchild of Publicis founder, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, who drew inspiration from similar venues he frequented as a young Madison Avenue advertising executive. Restaurant, shop, cinema and bar, it was Paris’ first all-hours venue.
This makeover is not Le Drugstore’s first but it is truer to the building’s original spirit than Michele Saee’s bold but frigid Gehry-esque intervention of 2004. Thanks go to Tom Dixon, whose graceful re-interpretation reveals the more interesting aspects of architect Pierre Dufau’s original design and whose use of rich, tactile materials and clever juxtaposition of glossy wood and marble with soft leather, velvet and brushed brass lends the restaurant its Don Draper appeal.
The menu is the work of Eric Fréchon, the triple-starred chef of Épicure at Le Bristol and offers everything from finger-foods to main meals, with counter service at the bar and the open kitchen for those requiring entertainment.